Me, in sepia, 10 November 2009
Hello all! I was being silly and snapped a bunch of self-portraits with the camera the other night. Then I decided to mess with them in Picasa. I changed them to sepia as in the full color versions I looked tired and a little washed-out (ironic statement, I know, lol).
12 November here, and 12 days into the NaNoWriMo November Challenge for me to write 50K words for this blog. I did not write yesterday as it was Armistice Day, we had the Boy and Girl Children staying with us, PJ also does blogging and writing of his own (one of his sites is here), and computer time was going to be limited, I knew. I did not even attempt to check email.
Add to this that today I am feeling very disorganized in my brain, I am pressured for time (PJ is off early again today and we are going out this afternoon), the laundry is starting to pile up, and I had a little tiny bit of caffeine this morning. Not a lot, but enough to make me jumpy and a little edgy, and just enough to make the feeling of pressure begin to suffocate me and pull me under. I am wondering if my word count for the blog, the laundry, the schedule of things I am doing today, and the bit of anxiety I feel will tsunami over me. Yes, using the noun as a verb there.
Maybe it was also the movie we saw yesterday that makes me think of tsunamis.
Before I write about the movie, though (see?! Totally scattered…), I wanted to sneak in a big thank you for the wonderful comments on Tuesday’s blog. I appreciated what people wrote there, and while I did not reply to the comments one by one there, I wanted you to know I read and loved what you had to say. I am avoiding recommenting, though, as I have already spent over two hours catching up with online peeps in other places, and if I don’t get a little of this blog started, I will never make a decent word count for today, and while, yes, I know that I am already to the halfway point, I need to stay on top of things as the weekend will soon be here. I don’t blog on weekends, either, I may be going out on Saturday with Tess (omg, I have to write her back, too), and ARGH. Can you FEEL the tension I am right now? Nnngnnnngnnngnnngnng.
LOL. I think you get the idea.
So the Boy Child and Girl Child arrived on Tuesday evening. I discovered when I shopped this past weekend at the local Leader Price store (the Poor People Store about which I have blogged a few times. Maaaan, I should tag my posts with “Leader Price,” huh. Too stressed to link any right now, but yesterday’s post mentions it) that I can now get lasagna noodles — the kind that you can bake and do not have to boil first. They seemed a little odd, not like real lasagna noodles. This might be because they are the “instant” baking kind. I tried to cook them with Leader Price brand jarred Bolognaise and some ricotta (even though the box said to use Béchamel). One Leader Price small jar of sauce and one small container of ricotta is not enough to have really moist noodles, though. I added a little water around the edges of the lasagna and covered the lasagna while baking, but it really needs to be saucier. I will either get two jars of sauce and two containers of ricotta next time I make this, or I will break down and buy or make a Béchamel sauce (can I buy a Béchamel sauce in a jar in France??? I have no idea…). It looks like Béchamel is the same thing I make when cooking macaroni and cheese from scratch, so I might try it. PJ and the kids said that the lasagna tasted good as it was, but I wondered. It looked pretty dry to me. I also hate that I cannot taste test dishes I make such as this because of the flour and dairy content. Grrrr. Don’t even get me started on how irritated I am with my life concerning food right now. Instead, let us fast-forward to Wednesday morning when PJ, the Girl Child, and I went to see 2012.
We got up on Wednesday morning, got showers and dressed, left at 9:45 am, and took Métro Line 2 from Colonel Fabien to Père Lachaise. We then turned on Place Auguste Métevier from Blvd de Ménilmontant. Place Auguste Métevier turns into Avenue Gambetta, which we followed up to the area where the Métro stop is (Gambetta), found the theater, which is nearby on 6 rue Belgrand, and waited in line at the MK2 Gambetta (in the 20th arrondissement).
A couple of things about the walk. On the way down rue de Meau, which is maybe a quarter of a mile to M° Colonel Fabien, I saw posters for 2012 no less that FOUR times. Seriously kids, there are posters for this all over the city. I saw more, too, as we walked to the theater.
The other thing is that I saw a park, a jardin really, on the way down rue Gambetta that runs parallel to the Père Lachaise cemetery: le Jardin de Samuel de Champlain. The Google Map is here. It is a small garden that is narrow, but runs the length of the cemetery and seems to be very peaceful. Noira on TripAdvisor dot com has compiled a list of places she visited in Paris. Number 10 is the Jardin. She writes, “Sculpture, frieze, wall…or is that truly souls trapped in stone? Beautiful and kind of occult.” Hmmm! I wonder about what she is writing. Also, a Flickr user paspog has a series of photos of the Jardin starting with this photo in this set (“Paris by Day”). This one shows what I think might be the frieze Noira writes about. Now I am curious to go back to the park and see what is up with the wall sculptures.
The MK2 Gambetta – Google Map View here.
Lots of movies showing, including The Box, Surrogates (which is entitled “Clones” in French) and a poster for the Jim Carrey movie A Christmas Carol, which opens in France on November 25. I can’t read the poster there, but it says something with “Scrooge.”
A busy movie holiday in Paris.
The movie we were going to see.
People waiting and smoking.
Oh, it is hard to be a former smoker in a smoker-friendly Paris some days! I really do miss smoking. Psychologically, that is. Physically, I do not miss it. I do not miss my hair and clothing smelling of cigarettes. I do not miss stuffy sinuses and the beginnings of a smoker’s hack. But the act of smoking itself? How good nicotine makes one feel? Yup. Miss that every day. It’s almost two months, though, and while I have had some brushes with the temptation to smoke, I have not done so.
ANOTHER movie poster for 2012!
I wanted to snap another photo of this without the guy in the background, but traffic did not cooperate. Too many cars were passing in front of it, and then it was our turn to enter the theater to get our tickets.
To find out more about Wallace Fountains, read these articles here:
- Wallace Fountains, Wikipedia
- Wallace Fountains, Paris Talk at blogspot dot com
- Wallace Fountains, Flickr Photo Pool
- Bonjour Paris dot com writer Joseph Lestrange on the Fountains (this is one of my favorite reads about the fountains).
I just ran into a great article about Paris Customs, too. This is one to read if you are planning a visit to Paris. Lots of good tips on etiquette in Paris are in the article.
Here’s the fun part of this blog. Seems that 2012 has come out two days sooner in Paris than in the States and so PJ wanted photos for his blog to prove he had seen it before anyone else/to provide sneak peeks, so he sneaked taking these with my camera in the theater.
LOL. They are crappy, but there you go. Now you are some of the first to see the movie, too. 🙂
I SO wanted to like this movie! **MINOR SPOILERS** below, but not huge ones. This movie is SO predictable it is not like anything can really be spoiled, anyways.
- Has John Cusack. I worship the film ground upon which he walks. Usually.
- Has Amanda Peet. Cute, been in a lot of good pictures, usually a fun actress to see with a great “hot factor.”
- Has Woody Harrelson. Besides Cheers, he has been in some kickass movies! He plays a hippie-type Doomsday dude in this film. Normally, I would think this is great.
- Has a lot of other good actors, too, such as Thandie Newton, Danny Glover, George Segal…
- Has a lot of amazing CGI action with a great film subject: the end of the world!
This movie SHOULD have made me like it a lot more than I did.
Instead, what I found was that it was full of stereotypes and predictability, it did not really make me feel much for anyone in the situation — the characters were flat, cardboard cutouts on a flat, cardboard story, with flat, cardboard sub-conflicts, and flat, cardboard dialogue. Plus some really f*cked up facts, such as when the John Cusack character and his family are flying from Las Vegas to China, they pass over Hawaii. Does this EVER happen in real life? No! Not unless the destination IS Hawaii.
Have the filmmakers not taken the basics of the Great Circle Route into account? See here and here. Oh there were other flubs in this movie, too, which downright pissed me off as I felt they were really big insults to my intelligence. As PJ and I talked about it, and I said it was really hard to suspend my disbelief because of these flubs, he said he understood it is hard to like a movie when you can see the strings manipulating everything. That’s exactly how I felt.
I was so annoyed by the flatness of the characters and their stories. I was totally bored in the non-action portions of the movie, and wanted to roll my eyes at so much in it that I really could not enjoy the action scenes in the film. Sure, I expect a bit of “Oh, Come ON!” moments in the film when the hero makes it out alive by the skin of his teeth, but there were so many outrageous moments such as this in the movie, I found myself getting irritated.
There have been some pretty good apocalyptic-style movies out in the past few years. Cloverfield, for example. That movie rocked. I even liked War of the Worlds better and that even had Tom Cruise in it, for Pete’s sake. This had John I’m-so-cool Cusack! It could have rocked!
But no. For every special effect spectacular peak there were moments so flat that not even the highs could make me feel invested in the movie.
Oh Crap I Only Have 20 Minutes More
I have to get in the shower. PJ and I are meeting to go and see The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus this afternoon and then this evening, we are going to go and see Francis Ford Coppola!! Yes! A famous person! He is introducing his movie Tetro at its French Premier at the Max Linder Panorama Theater. It is at 24, bd Poissonniere 75009, Paris. There is a cool Flickr photo of the theater here. It looks like an old, classic-style movie house, and should be very interesting to see. The website, in French, is here. PJ says he thinks the movie will be in Spanish with French subtitles, but I don’t mind. I can understand a little Spanish, I can read a little French, and when I can’t understand the language in a movie, I find myself paying more attention to the little visual details and to the cinematography. Plus I get to see someone famous! Very cool. I am looking forward to it.
Also, I wanted to say that I finally got an Italian-style espresso pot, the stovetop kind!
PJ took Girl Child and me to the store called C’est tout vous! – It’s all for you! It’s a discount-type store, a mom and pop shop, of crap made in China. It’s like a dollar store, but things cost more than a dollar. It’s got a lot of cheap housewares and so on. Stuff Girl Child likes to spend her allowance on, too, like nail polish and gum and knick-knacks for her room.
With this coffeepot, I am able to brew up some decaf espresso for myself! I have tried to quit coffee in order to be off of caffeine, and it is WAY hard. Too hard. I started drinking caffeinated coffee again at the start of NaNoWriMo after having been off of it for a couple of weeks. It finally dawned on me that there is such a thing as decaf, and so I thought I would find some. This was also setting up a coffeemaker competition between PJ and me. I also wanted to brew it espresso-style since I found an espresso roast and grind, decaf, in the store (Monoprix. It’s organic, fair-trade, and water-decaffeinated instead of solvent, too!). PJ got me this pot so I could make my own decaf. I think it is still a pretty acidic drink, and I still may have to quit coffee altogether because of it, but I thought I would give decaf a try. It’s nice to have the option to do make some decaf espresso.
The Boy Child stayed in the apartment all day yesterday until he and Girl Child went home at about 5 pm I guess at 14, almost 15, doing so is more fun that going out with the family. I guess it is some “down-time” for him. After they left, I had a Season One “Ugly Betty” marathon until I was sleeping more through episodes than I was watching them.
Finally, I wanted to mention I am reading a very good book which takes place here in Paris. It is a heart-wrenching story, but I am learning so very much about the city, past and present from it. It is called Sarah’s Key by Tatiana Rosnay, a French, British, and Russian author who lives in Paris. This is her first book written in English and it is beautifully-executed so far. I hope to write more about this book as I finish it. It’s subject matter is one I have only begun to learn about and about which I have some information in my neck of the city, too.
Well, I made it to just about 2,500 words today. I have 50 minutes to get ready and meet PJ at the Quai de Loire theater here in the 19th. So I am off. I leave you with a photograph of the coffee pot, in sepia. LOL.